Easy Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch

These easy cinnamon rolls from scratch are perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Each cinnamon roll is extra soft with the most delicious cinnamon swirl!

This cinnamon roll recipe makes classic, home-style cinnamon rolls. They’re fluffy, soft, and topped with vanilla glaze. It’s taken me some time to develop quick cinnamon rolls that maintain all the flavor of traditional overnight cinnamon rolls. I have the winner for you right here and I baked two batches just to be sure.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

Yeast Beginners Rejoice!

Do you love homemade cinnamon rolls, but are nervous to bake with yeast? Join the club. I was too! But this recipe changed everything for me. They’re perfect for anyone who wants to learn how to bake with yeast. Unlike cinnamon rolls that require hours of rise time, plus a 2nd rise time after the rolls are shaped, this easy cinnamon rolls recipe only requires 1 rise.

Here’s my #1 tip: I recommend using a strong and dependable yeast. Red Star Platinum Yeast is an instant yeast, which cuts down on rise time. Its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes working with yeast simple. And simple is always good, right?

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

3 cinnamon rolls on a blue plate

How to Make Easy Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch

Bakery style goodness for beginners!

  1. Make the dough: The ingredients are pretty standard: flour, sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, butter, and 1 egg. Heat the butter, milk, and water together. Next, stir the butter mixture into the dry ingredients, then add the egg. At this point, your dough is ready to knead!
  2. Knead the dough: You can use your mixer or hands to knead the dough. Want to learn more about the process of kneading? I study this helpful guide often. When you’re finished kneading, cover the dough and let it rest for a few minutes so the gluten settles. During this time, get your filling ingredients ready: butter, cinnamon, and sugar.
  3. Shape the cinnamon rolls: Roll the dough out into a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the butter on top, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. You can use regular white granulated sugar or brown sugar in the filling. Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 11-12 pieces. Place in a greased round pan and get ready to rise.
  4. Rise: Let the shaped rolls rise for 60-90 minutes. Remember, this is the only rise time for the rolls.
  5. Bake: After the cinnamon rolls are nice and puffy, bake until golden brown.

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish before baking

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish after baking

The TRICK to Easy Cinnamon Rolls

Let the dough rise in your oven.

Here’s what I do: I heat the oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off. Cover the rolls and place them inside. Leave the oven door cracked open for about 30 minutes, then shut it closed. There, that’s it!

cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

After baking, the rolls are ready for a finishing touch. You can serve with vanilla icing or salted caramel, but I love drenching these easy cinnamon rolls in coffee icing. Simply mix 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar with 2 Tablespoons of strong coffee.

These easy cinnamon rolls from scratch are completely irresistible and they take half the time. If you’re looking for that perfect cinnamon roll recipe, this is the winner.

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cinnamon rolls topped with icing in a glass baking dish

Easy Cinnamon Rolls (from scratch)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 11-12 rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These easy cinnamon rolls are perfect for yeast beginners because they only require 1 rise. Top with vanilla icing or my favorite coffee icing below.


Ingredients

Rolls

  • 2 and 3/4 cups (344g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum Yeast or any instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar or packed light or dark brown sugar

Icing

  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 23 Tablespoons (30-45ml) strong brewed coffee or milk

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the milk, water, and butter together in a heatproof bowl. Microwave or use the stove and heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is warm to touch (about 110°F). Pour into the dry ingredients, add the egg, and stir until it forms a soft dough or use your mixer.
  3. On a lightly floured surface using floured hands, knead the dough for 3 minutes. Place in a lightly greased bowl (I use non-stick spray), cover loosely, and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Fill the rolls: After 10 minutes, roll the dough out in a 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle it all over the dough. Roll up the dough tightly to make a 14 inch log. Cut into 10-12 even rolls and arrange in a lightly greased 9-inch round cake pan or pie dish.
  5. Rise: Tightly cover the rolls with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 60-90 minutes. See blog post above for my trick to this step!
  6. Bake the rolls: After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake for 25-28 minutes until lightly browned. If you notice the tops are getting too brown too quickly, loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and continue baking.
  7. Make the icing: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and coffee/milk together. Drizzle or spread over warm rolls.
  8. Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: This dough can be made the night before through step 4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise in a warm environment, about 1 hour. Continue with step 6.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: bake the rolls in step 6 for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To serve, take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them.
  3. Yeast: I highly recommend instant yeast. If you only have active dry yeast, you can use that instead. Active dry and instant yeast can be used interchangeably in recipes (1:1). Active dry yeast has a moderate rate of rising and instant dry yeast has a faster rate of rising; active dry yeast will create a slower rise time.
  4. Milk: Whole milk is ideal for this dough. If needed, you can substitute nondairy milk.
  5. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

501 Comments

  1. I have never worked with yeast before so I was pleasantly surprised when these turned out so good! Thanks for such wonderful instructions, Sally! 🙂

  2. Those are too perfect! They just got out of the oven and they are delicious! One of the best things I ever put in my mouth! Best recipe ever! Thank you!

  3. My 14 and 7 year old sons help me in making this last night. We leave it overnight to rise and bake it today as our breakfast! It’s my first time to make rolls and it seems i’m a pro i just followed your instructions! Thanks Sally can’t wait to try your other recipes! =)

    1. My favorite thing about this recipe? It’s so easy and makes you feel like a master in the kitchen. 🙂 So happy you tried these out!

  4. This recipe is absolutely amazing!! I made these yesterday as my first attempt of ever making cinnamon rolls and they came out perfect!!

  5. I can’t believe how long I avoided making my first kneaded yeast bread! Finally broke down and made one I found online last weekend, decades later than necessary! When it came to kneading–the part that put me off so many years–it was immediately obvious that I had either done it (a LOT) in a previous life, 🙂 or it’s just an ingrained human skill. I even had an automatic, rythmic technique, and knew how to sprinkle more flour as I went to get the right texture, etc. Reason for writing this is I see how many others have also put off this lovely experience. FEAR NOT! Jump in.

    My first batch of your lovely cinnamon rolls are rising in the warm oven. Thanks so much for this EASY recipe. Hubby is circling, wondering if they are ever going to be baked.

  6. Sally, we made these this morning and loved them! Especially the coffee glaze- what a good idea!

  7. I haven’t had much luck making cinnamon rolls in the past as they’ve all been recipe fails. Beyond sticky dough and lots of work spent on something that didn’t turn out was not my idea of fun, let’s just say I was discouraged one too many times. Since every recipe I’ve made of yours has exceeded my expectations I decided that cinnamon rolls were once again in order as I was positive your recipe would be a success and it was!!! These were so good and so easy!!!!! I let then rise overnight so I could bake them in the morning and I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I uncovered them and saw how perfect they looked!!!! They tasted even better than they looked! I have to say that your recipes and my successes in making them have made me a better baker, one who isn’t afraid to try anything!! Thank you for that!! I am so glad to have found your blog as it renewed my love of baking!!!

  8. OMG! These are by far, the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever had. Was looking for an easy recipe and this one fit the bill. Followed the recipe exactly and was so happy with the results! Thanks for sharing! Definitely dangerous knowing how easy and tasty these are!

  9. This were amazing! Light and fluffy and sooo so good! I loved the coffee glaze as well! This is my go to site for desserts and you have never steered me wrong! Thanks Sally!

  10. I had been putting off making these thinking it would be too fiddly. Finally bit the bullet and made them today. OMG – they were delicious and so easy. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!

  11. Hi Sally,

    These look delicious! Looking forward to making them this week. One question, do you think spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour would work in this recipe? I know you said regular whole wheat flour does not work well but I find that the pastry flour usually turns out less dense. Thanks!

    1. I honestly do not recommend either – truly, all-purpose or even bread flour would be best here.

  12. I had to make them twice just to make sure this recipe wasn’t too good to be true. Come to find out is not! Yay! These are the easiest and most delicious homeade cinnamon rolls EVER!!!

  13. Could you tell me please which way you roll the dough? Do I want to have a 14 inch roll or an 8 inch roll to cut into 11 pieces?

    1. 14 inch roll

  14. Can almond milk be used as a substitute for cows milk?

    1. It could, yes. But I’ve never had luck obtaining the same soft, fluffy texture when using dairy free milk.

  15. Hi Sally! Love this recipe- it’s so easy and so delicious. Just wondering, how long can you let the rolls rise in the fridge in terms of hours?

    1. 10-12 hours max. Enjoy!

  16. Hi Sally! Do you have to use instant yeast, or is there any way that I can use the traditional active dry yeast that I have?

    1. traditional active is fine, expect an approximately 50% slower rise time.

  17. Hi Sally,

    I don’t have a circular pan but was wondering if you thought a muffin pan would work out ok?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. That or a 9 inch square baking pan.

  18. I have made these rolls twice now. Everyone LOVED them. I wanted something easy and I have always felt uncomfortable using yeast, as I have failed a few times, but this was so simple. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  19. Sally,
    Thank you so much for this superbly easy recipe! I made these for a work brunch and added a bit of orange zest to the filling along with orange cream cheese icing and they are wonderful! I made them two days before and had to bake them the night before work but they still turned out yummy! I will definitely be keeping this recipe close at hand!

  20. Could i let them rise and bake in a muffin pan?

    1. Absolutely!

  21. These cinnamon rolls received rave reviews from my family this morning! I made them for my daughter’s birthday breakfast. The dough was great and so easy to work with, not dry, not too sticky. They rolled up perfectly! You gave great instructions for the dough! Thanks for another great recipe! 

  22. Just made these and they’re absolutely incredible! Easy to make, too. Thanks for sharing this recipe. =)

  23. I added mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the filling and it is devine! The coffee glaze is delicious! 🙂 

  24. I have spent over 25 years trying to replicate my mother’s cinnamon rolls.  I even have her hand written recipe.  I made cinna-bricks.  I tried your recipe yesterday and hit gold.  Exactly as I remember them. Folks at work said the were better than that cinnamon bun chain store.  Thank you so much. This is a keeper!!

  25. Hi Sally!
    I’m super excited to surprise my boyfriend with these Sunday morning. I’m planning on making them the night before and letting them rise overnight in the fridge. I was just wondering in the morning when I take them out of the fridge and let them rise for another hour at room temp, should they be covered with plastic wrap?? I really want them to turn out perfect! Thanks! I love your recipes! 

    1. Yep, keep them covered 🙂

  26. This recipe is fool-proof! It was my first time to work with yeast and it was a success! The bread is soft, tasty and fluffy! This recipe is a keeper. Thanks, Sally! ♥

  27. These rolls were super easy and delicious! My family loved them! I was a first time yeast user and my rolls came out perfect. Thanks for the recipe

  28. These rolls are FANTASTIC! I am an absolute beginner with using yeast, and these turned out beautifully! They made a gorgeous presentation and were gobbled up in no time by everyone at our Father’s Day brunch. I was very pleased and proud (and, of course, ate two of them myself!). They are substantial without being heavy, pleasingly sweet without being over the top. Perfect!

  29. This was the first recipe I’ve ever made using yeast, and they were DELICIOUS. I’ve since tried another one of your roll recipes (also yummy) and will be trying my third in a couple days. You’ve made me a believer!

  30. Hi Sally.

    I love this recipe. I’ve made these many times and shared your recipe with
    friends. I saw your other recipe for slow cooker cinnamon rolls and was wondering if this recipe would work in the slow cooker as well?

    1. Yes, absolutely! These would work in the slow cooker like my slow cooker cinnamon rolls. The dough recipes are actually similar 🙂

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